Let’s face it: there was some amazing television back in the 1990s. I could list my favorites all day, but while some of the best shows ever were in the old T.G.I.F. line-up, I learned some very important life lessons from a different ’90s gem, Blossom. Played to quirky perfection by Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik, Blossom was the one all of us ’90s girls wanted to be. She had it all: intelligence, off-beat cuteness, an awesome best friend, and two cool older brothers. (Whoa!) And let’s not forget her amazing wardrobe and expansive hat collection. At any rate, the show, while almost always funny, also managed to teach some pretty poignant life lessons. Here are just a few of my favorites:
1. Don’t be afraid to be the smart girl. Never once did I ever see Blossom play dumb for a boy. In fact, there was even an episode where she was working with the “cool rebel guy” on a class assignment. Did she act like an airhead to get his attention and affection? No, she worked hard to make sure they did a good job, and even helped bring out his “street smarts” and put it to good use in the assignment. She was in the school band, tried out for the debate team, and basically let her intelligence shine for all to see.
2. Dads can be pretty darn cool. Let’s face it: Blossom’s dad, Nick Russo, was the epitome of a Cool Dad. Sure, he was over-protective sometimes (like when Blossom started seeing leather-clad Vinnie), but he was also a musician who wore an earring and rocked a mullet in later seasons. He was raising the kids alone while Blossom’s mom lived it up in France. Like I said, pretty cool!
3. Best friends are the best. Honestly, what would Blossom have been without her best friend, Six? Everyone needs a friend to dance their hearts out with. But their friendship was so much more than that. Six was always there to listen when Blossom was having problems—whether it was her parents’ divorce, boys, school, whatever—she was always there for her bestie (and vice versa). I also appreciated that Six never hesitated to tell Blossom the truth. There was one episode where Blossom became jealous of Six’s budding friendship with the new girl in school. Blossom accused Six of going to the mall without her and Six reminded her that she’d never showed up at the mall for their standing date like she was supposed to. Six was also the one who told Blossom that she wasn’t over Vinnie, even though she swore she was. Every girl should have this kind of BFF.
4. Forgiveness is divine. There are plenty of examples of forgiveness I could cite from the show, but there is one that is, hands down, my favorite. Blossom’s older brother, Tony, was a recovering drug addict and alcoholic who had apparently put his family through the ringer in the past. But when Tony got straight and started being an active participant in AA, and when he showed them he was truly working towards change, his family forgave him for his past. I always thought that was an incredibly open-minded, open-hearted and important message for ’90s kid’s TV.
Caitlin Kurvink is a high school English teacher in Southern California. In her spare time, she loves reading YA novels, listening to boy band music and exploring other “nerdy” pursuits.